Are Boy Dogs and Girl Dogs Really That Different?

When N and I announced that we were getting a boy puppy, opinions flew. Mostly out of the mouths of my family members, so, you know, that was fun. My family has always had girl dogs so they were not too pleased when we decided on a boy instead of a girl. I think many families only get one gender of dog and that’s just what they do.

I’m not sure why we decided to get a boy dog. I kind of wanted a little Momma’s boy (which I got) and N was pretty easy to convince. I think more than anything, we thought the gender would kind of be irrelevant (and it has been).

Are boy dogs and girl dogs really that different? #dogs #puppy |

Things people told me about dogs genders that are probably not true:

  • Girl dogs are easier to train
  • Boy dogs are more aggressive
  • Girl dogs are more aggressive
  • Boy dogs will hump everything
  • Girl dogs are more affectionate
  • Boy dogs are more affectionate
  • Dogs are more affectionate to people of the opposite gender
  • Girl dogs are better with children
  • Boy dogs are more likely to pee in the house (mark their territory) and are harder to housetrain
  • Girl dogs are calmer

I’ve met dogs of almost every breed (and mixes) who defy all the things on this list. My brother’s boy pitbull is a not aggressive and is super cuddly. My parents girl golden retriever has shown aggression (on rare occasion). And Archie has been humped by many, many girl dogs (he’s really good-looking and also super confused about what’s happening so he lets it go on for way too long, while his parents laugh).

And here’s my completely amateur opinion: The gender doesn’t really matter. I really think it has more to do with personality of the individual dog. Some breeds are well-known for certain personality traits, so if you know a breed’s personality is what you want, go with that. This seems especially true with golden retrievers.

See? Really really good-looking.
See? Really really good-looking.

I have heard that some of these myths are more true of certain breeds of dogs than others. I’ve also read that a lot of these myths are only true for dogs who aren’t spayed or neutered. I can’t speak to this but perhaps it’s true.

For the record, Archie was easy to train, has never shown an ounce of aggression, has never humped anything, is ridiculously affectionate, loves kids, and never pees in the house. I wouldn’t call him calm but I also wouldn’t say he’s hyper. Archie has not been any different from any girl dog I’ve ever had. He is the Winnie-the-Pooh of dogs. Sure, he’s technically a boy, but does it really matter? Do you even really notice or care?

Baby Archie

So I’m glad we got a boy dog. I can’t imagine having a little Clementine (a name N would never agree to but I love anyway) instead of our Archie. Still, I don’t think a girl dog would have been even a little bit different.

How did you decide on a boy or girl dog? Does your family only get one or the other?

  • We got a boy dog the first time around because he is the dog that was available in the litter. By the time we’d had him for a few months, I couldn’t imagine ever having a girl dog. When we got our second puppy a few months ago, we researched the breed and the boys are better hunters, so we got a boy…plus, 2 boy dogs will work better together than a boy and a girl (for obvious reasons).

    • I’ve kind of always wanted a boy dog and a girl dog together but N wants another boy dog someday. I guess we’ll see. Archie gets along with all dogs though so I’m not worried if we get a girl.

  • In my family, we’ve always had one boy and one girl dog at all times. I first adopted Bear, a boy, a few months ago, and then last month we adopted a sister for him, Zoey. They are both lab mixes. We don’t know what Bear is really mixed with (he has black and brown stripes and sometimes looks part pitbull), but they say Zoey is a lab and border collie mix (her freckles!).

    I grew up with tons of dogs (we had 11 labs at one time!), and I agree– it really is more about their personality rather than if they’re male or female! Zoey is a lot more brave than Bear, and Bear is a lot more cuddly than Zoey.

    • And about the comment above about mixing boys & girls together in one family — it’s not always bad. My dogs have never humped each other or fought or anything that people typically think happen when they put a boy and girl dog together. If they’re both fixed at a young age, you don’t really get those problems. Out of all the dogs I’ve had, we’ve always had a lot of girls and boys living together and we never had any issues like that.

      • That’s what I’ve heard too. That if you fix them when they are young that the boy/girl dynamic is kind of irrelevant. Thanks for sharing!

  • We decided on girl dogs simply because I did not want to deal with the red rocket lol. We have two girl dogs and their breeds are said to be 100% identical (Weimaraner and Vizsla). Yet, depsite them both being girls and both said to have the exact same personality, these two could not be more different if they tried. So I agree with you, I think it’s all about the dogs personality, not their sex. And while our one dog fits it’s breed description to a t, the other strays sooooo far from what her breed is supposed to act like lol

    • Also a concern of mine! Had we not gotten a very furry dog (thus hiding everything, I’ve literally never seen it) I would have gotten a girl. I almost included it in this post but I didn’t so I’m glad you mentioned that.

  • My family has always had female dogs, except on one occasion, we rescued a male hunting tog (at the time my dad quail hunted frequently, and had two other bird dogs) and he was super sweet and never aggressive, but he had been abused in the past. Personally, I think they both have their pros and cons – females go in to heat and you either have to embarrass them with a diaper, get them fixed, or risk a mess. Males have a tendency to pee on things. But I agree, both genders have the capabilities of being aggressive or being the perfect dog for your family. I think it is in how you raise/train them, but I could be totally wrong – it could just be luck of the draw.

    • All of our dogs have always been fixed so I’ve never dealt with a female in heat. I’ve heard that male dogs tend to mark there territory but Archie never quite learned how to lift his leg (he squats like a girl) so maybe that’s why he doesn’t.

  • awww my goodness puppy!!!! what a stinkin’ cutie. we had a girl dog growing up when i was little and then in high school boy dogs. we just adopted a little rescue dog that’s female and she’s all sorts of cuddly towards me. still weird and a little stressful to have a dog because i am always afraid i will forget to feed her or she will eat something and choke while on my watch. these are the type of things that keep me up at night!

    • Archie has been with us for two years now and I’m still terrified that he’ll choke on something and I won’t do dog CPR right or something. We take away all choking hazard toys before we leave the house (no tennis balls).

  • I’ve always had girl dogs (and currently have 1), but I would like a boy next. I’ve always hear a boy and girl get along the best as opposed to 2 dogs of the same gender. Who knows if that’s actually true though!

    • I really think people have heard both and I honestly think it depends on the dogs themselves.

  • I grew up with a boy dog and when I decided to get a dog recently, I just knew I wanted a little boy. I’m with you in thinking I just wanted a little momma’s boy. We’ve only had him for four days so far and he is acting like, well, a puppy. I’m with Chelsea above though, I’m so freaked out I’m going to forget about him! I’m really not forgetful but yeah, parenting paranoia?

    • Whenever I’m in a new environment with Archie (like when I went to Maine to visit my parents) I forget to feed him breakfast. He eats twice a day and my Mom’s dogs eat once a day and I always forget and then feel terrible! It happens occasionally. Your dog will love you anyways 😉

  • I chose boy dogs because I had always heard the saying, “girl dogs love you, but boy dogs are in love with you.” My two boys are very affectionate dogs, but the same could be said for my parent’s girl dog. I

    • Sorry – my comment published before I was finished typing.
      I think you are spot on. It has more to do with the bred and personality of the individual dog than it does on the gender of the dog. Either way, I’m still head over heels for my two boys!

      • I like having a little boy. I feel like he’s a little momma’s boy and he’s so cuddley. I have no idea if that’s just his personality or because he’s a boy but I love it either way.

  • I’ve always had girl dogs growing up. But now I live in a house with a roommate with a boy dog. I don’t think the gender has made a difference in comparing his personality and behavior to my girl dog. Yes, he’s humped things…but so has my girl dog. He’s completely housetrained…and so is she.

    I don’t think gender plays a roll in these things. I think it’s just the dog. Every dog is different.

    xo Denise

    • I completely agree. Thanks for sharing!

  • We have one of each and our families have a good variety – in our experience, girls are tougher and more protective & aggressive and the boys are more laid back and submissive. I’m sure that isn’t the case with everyone, but it’s definitely the case with us 🙂 I love their different personalities!

    • Our girl dogs are the only dogs I’ve seen who have been possessive or aggressive. I really think it’s dependent on the dog though.

  • Kara

    First, I love all the Archie pictures. He IS really really good looking! Yeah, it depends on the breed/individual dog. We got a boy dog because he was the first one at the adoption event to come up and sniff us, and was the right size/breed we were looking for. He has only peed in the house once when we didn’t let him out on time, and I’ve never seen him hump anything. He can get aggressive when I’m walking him and a man approaches us, I like to think he’s protecting me. To each (dog) their own!

    • Thank you! Archie doesn’t like people walking too close to our slider. When he sees someone he’ll let out a big woof and I tell ya, you’d think it was a rottweiler. He sounds terrifying but if the person ever came in the house, he’d be wagging and begging for treats. I don’t think being a little protective is a bad thing.

  • My dog is a girl and the gender never came into play when I chose to adopt her. My good friend has a male dog and oddly enough, he’s more clingy than my “female dog”, haha. My dog is too independent.

    • If I could describe Archie in one word it would be “needy” or “clingy”. I always thought it was his breed though, not really cause he’s a boy.

  • i’ve grown up with mainly males but the two or so females I’ve lived with or seen have been just as sweet and loving as the males. Males can be a little more territorial in my experience but for the most part they’re the same 🙂

    • I think if they are fixed, they are pretty much the same and it’s dependent on the dog and how well socialized they were as puppies.

  • Oh such a cute dog

    • Thank you, Jo-Anne! We think he’s pretty cute too.

  • i never knew that the sex of the dog mattered

    • It probably doesn’t but a lot of people think that it does.

  • The way we’ve always chose our dogs is by seeing which puppy is the most friendly and active, and we usually bring home the one that socialized with us the most. We have two dogs, a girl and a boy 🙂

    • That’s definitely a good way to do things. My Mom told us to pick the puppy that, when we set it down and took a few steps back, came over to us right away. When we were picking Archie, every dog we met (all of them) did that. So I picked Archie because he let me hold him for as long as I wanted and never once squirmed. Maybe that’s why he’s so clingy now. lol

  • My family has had a lot of pets and the males have always, across the board, been friendlier. I feel like the females (especially the cats) would get more possessive. But then again, like you said, maybe that was just their character to begin with? Not sure. :p

    • I know almost nothing about cats but it’s interesting that you say that. I’ll keep it in mind if we ever do get one!

  • Danielle

    I got a girl dog, because they were fresh out of boys and I needed a dog that day to fill the void of my golden passing a few days before. I’ve never had a female dog before now. Friends had female dogs and some were aggressive and some were sweet. My dog, Molly, is her own person, err dog rather. She’s sweet when she wants to be and a total diva the next minute. She’s playful and calm. She’s an agglomeration of characteristics and personality trains all stuffed into one 40 lb pup. She’s a mystery mix of some sort I found on craigslist (golden/collie and/or sheltie mix I think). She’s crazy and adorable, and I couldn’t have asked for a better dog!!

  • This is probably so late, but when did you change your blog name? I am thinking about changing POTC but definitely scared to do it! What does East & mean?

    Either way, I love it!

  • Clementine is such a cute name – maybe for a baby! 🙂

  • Hi, I’ve just come across your blog and found myself reading quite a few blog posts! i really enjoyed it!

  • I do believe it comes down to personality! I have had two pit bulls (boys) who have/had the same soft, gentle, affectionate temperament, and two german shepherd/lab mixes (one boy and one girl) with the same deeply intelligent, pet me on my terms, watchdog type personality! So you never know I guess, when it comes to dog gender! Archie is the cutest!!!

  • I agree. I always had girl dogs growing up but then I got Bandit who is a boy. He’s fine! At first he was VERY MUCH into the ladies (if you know what I mean ;)) but that didn’t last very long. He’s well behaved, doesn’t go in the house (my mom’s dog who is a girl does ALL THE TIME!), he loves kids, is cuddly and sweet… etc. It’s all about the personality of the dog and sometimes the breed too.

  • Bethany

    My first dog was a girl, this was back in college and I wanted a girl because .. I wanted to dress her up and she was my “roomate”. She was and is still my baby. Then we adopted a boy dog because my husband wanted a boy and having one of each was great. Jake was much harder to train then our girl dog, but he is also way more loving and great with kids. Faith is more independent and can get snappy at times. I really think it’s her personality of being a shih-tzu though. Our third dog, we adopted is a girl boxer. My husband wanted to have a girl boxer. He claims girls are easier to train and after having 2 girls and a boy, I would agree that our girl dogs mind us better and Faith was easier to train (Molly was already trained and 5 years old when we got her). Now my husband is completely out numbered! He has me, two daughter and two girl dogs. Only him and Jake make up the boys in our house!! Archie is SO cute, I would love to have a golden one day!

  • Oh my goodness! The puppy pics! I die!

  • Our family pets have always been boys. We decided to get a boy dog for our first but I am set on getting him a sister soon. Everyone in my family opposes and has something to say about it though.

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